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Is School Enough?

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Watch Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at 6pm on WORLD.

In winter 2011, filmmaker Stephen Brown launched a national conversation among educators, policymakers, parents and students with Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century. This documentary explored how exceptional educators are helping students use digital media to connect, create and learn.

Brown continues this dialogue with Is School Enough? This one-hour film examines another new frontier reshaping 21st century education: Empowering young people to learn from what they care about most, and helping them make an authentic difference in the world. 

Thanks to digital media, the Internet and new advances in understanding how students learn, educators are beginning to appreciate the importance of breaking out of the classroom and into the wider world. There’s a growing understanding that learning should not just be preparation for life, but is actually “life itself.”

Is School Enough?  documents vivid examples of where new modes of learning and engagement are taking hold and flourishing. Featuring nationally recognized educators and researchers, Brown’s powerful stories show that when students have the opportunity to explore real interests and problems, they step up and perform at the highest level. This new approach reaches motivated students as well as kids that educators call “the bright and bored,” helping these learners tune in rather than drop out.

Is School Enough?  introduces parents, educators, and everyone passionate about learning to:

  • Students in Maine who work with veterinary experts and digital apps to prepare a new home for a retired circus elephant. 
  • Young people worldwide who use the online Harry Potter Alliance to launch meaningful social justice initiatives. 
  • A curious and creative teen who crafts her own educational experience based on her passion for natural healing and yoga. 
  • A young man in Oakland who produces state-of-the-art music videos to engage his community—and himself. 

Through the voices of these inspired students and America’s foremost education thought leaders, Is School Enough?provides insight into an essential new understanding of what education can be in the 21st century. Featuring a PBS website and partnership with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate initiative, Is School Enough? will reach educators, parents and students across a variety of platforms, inviting them to connect around new methods of self-directed, lifelong learning.